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2020 Michel Déon Prize Shortlist

28 May 2020

The Royal Irish Academy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have today announced the six shortlisted titles for the 2020 Michel Déon Prize for Non-Fiction.

The six books on the shortlist for the 2020 Michel Déon Prize, are:

  • Constellations by Sinéad Gleeson (Picador Pan MacMillan)
  • Republic of Shame by Caelainn Hogan (Penguin Randomhouse)
  • The Maamtrasna Murders: Language, Life and Death in Nineteenth-Century Ireland by Margaret Kelleher (UCD Press)
  • Minor Monuments by Ian Maleney (Tramp Press)
  • Twelve Thousand Days, A memoir of love and loss by Éilís Ní Dhuibhne (Blackstaff Press)
  • The Shoemaker and his daughter by Conor O'Clery (Penguin Randomhouse)

Titles were nominated by both the public and publishing community through the RIA’s website and the judging panel made their choice from the eligible titles. In shortlisting the titles the judges were looking for originality; quality of writing and contribution to knowledge and/or public debate. To reflect the work and interests of the French writer Michel Déon, who made Ireland his home from the 1970s until his death in 2016, the eligible categories for the prize were - autobiography, biography, cultural studies, history, literary studies, philosophy, travel. Authors of any nationality currently living on the island of Ireland who had published a non-fiction book in the period August 2018 to April 2020 were eligible. 

Professor Michael Cronin, Chair of the judging panel, commented “I would like to thank my fellow judges who had the difficult task of drawing up the shortlist. The sheer vitality and range of non-fictional writing in Ireland at the present moment is evident in the quality of the titles on the Michel Déon Prize shortlist”.

The €10,000 prize for the winning author is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The winner will be announced at an online Award Ceremony on the evening of 29 September. Please direct all queries to

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